How to overcome the shortcomings of traditional marketing in the digital age
Although their goals are the same, traditional marketing is really the polar opposite of inbound marketing.
Both are working to bring prospects into the sales funnel. Traditional techniques that involve injecting a company’s message into the daily lives of a wide swath of largely anonymous people were developed in the middle of the 20th Century -- in a dramatically different marketing, advertising and media landscape.
Inbound marketing was conceived and honed around the strengths of the 21st Century digital environment. The amount of information consumers have at their fingertips when making purchasing decisions in the internet age has muted the impact of traditional marketing approaches.
An inbound approach, where marketers enter the digital fray and rise to the top based on the quality and value of the content they are distributing, is more aligned with the reality of today’s buyers’ journeys.
Here are the key differentiators of an inbound marketing campaign compared with traditional marketing.
A mindset that touts the greatness of your products and services or illustrates the coolness of your brand may be suited for a Super Bowl ad, but it doesn’t play well in the digital marketplace. Prospects doing internet searches for solutions in your field are looking to solve a problem rather than learn about your company.
An inbound mindset understands the aspirations and challenges of prospective customers and uncovers a variety of ways to help.
As an inbound marketer, you will put in the time to create valuable, helpful content embedded with the search words your prospects are typing into search engines. When you distribute that content consistently enough so that people searching for solutions in your field find it, it will organically attract the prospects you are looking for.
And you didn’t have to buy that Super Bowl ad.
Another free pathway of inbound marketing is social media. Using social media for inbound purposes is different than paying ad money to get your latest product innovation into people’s news feeds, and certainly different than using social media personally.
Your business’ social media profiles are distribution points for all the valuable, enlightening content you are producing as part of your inbound campaign. Remember, you are trying to solve potential customers’ problems, so personal-style posts about your company or posts about your goods and services are really besides the point.
Social media is great for timing your posts for optimal impact and engaging your followers in meaningful discussions about your industry. Proper social media management for inbound marketing will raise your company’s profile among peers and customers and establish your company as an industry authority.
As a traditional marketer, how do you cultivate sales leads? You are probably banking on a persuasive description of your unique selling proposition to resonate with your target audience.
As an inbound marketer, you will combine a clear understanding of your prospective customers’ needs with relevant content to entice them through the sales pipeline.
Your most valuable content belongs behind a so-called “gate” that opens when your prospect offers some contact information you can use for future follow-up. Once received, your gated content becomes accessible to your prospect, who is now primed for a more personal level of engagement with your sales and marketing team.
Using these elements of inbound marketing will align your business with the marketing strategies of the digital age.
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